Guest Author - Susan Anspaugh
Before the mountains were born or you brought forth the earth and the world,
from everlasting to everlasting you are God Psalm 90:2
Eternal life—it is the promise of Christianity! Only, it is such a difficult concept because our idea of eternal shifts over time. When I was in kindergarten, first grade seemed impossibly far away. I could not imagine what it would be like to be 21 - an impossible goal for a long time. Then, 30 was an unimaginable milestone. Then, 50. Now, looking back, it has been a moment. My life has been but a brief pause in time and I do not know what looms ahead on this earth other than certain death at some point.
I have been a baby; a child; a teenager; a wife (twice!); a mother; a stepmother; a grandmother; a student; a teacher: I have been a young beauty and a ‘senior citizen’. I have changed a lot; God has not. He IS God. He was God yesterday; He is God today; He remains God tomorrow. He is always, always, always the same. From eternity past to eternity tomorrow, he IS always God.
How do we mortals find that Christian promise, eternal life? How do we become like God and live forever? “Now this is eternal life: that they may know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent.” John 17:3. These are the words of Jesus on the cross. As he was dying, he brought eternal life to humans. He completed the act required and he spoke the words we as humans must hear and take into our lives—eternal life is knowing the only, true God and the one that God sent, his son Jesus Christ. There is no second choice. It is not a multiple choice answer. Eternal life is achieved only when we know this one God. But, in knowing this God we acquire eternal life.
So, if before you lay a package you did not know how to open and in that package was the thing you most longed for with all your heart; the thing your heart woke up in the morning yearning for and went to sleep at night hoping for. What would you be willing to do to open that package? Would you read the directions and follow them or would you just look with longing at the package and walk away? Every day you did not open the package, your heart felt empty and aching and alone. And, every day you had one less day to open the package before your chances were gone. You never know when your chances are up; you only know someday the time will come; like one day you were in 1st grade and one day you reached 21 and one day you had a child and one day you die.
To live, we all must come to know this one true and only God who is everlasting. We know him by reading about him and learning about his great love for his children and by recognizing his son. The more we know this God, the more we have eternal LIFE. Not just an existence, but life, full of all the hope and joy life brings and we have it forever.
“This is what the LORD says: ‘Let not the wise man boast of his riches, but let him who boasts boast about this: that he understands and knows me.’” Jeremiah 9: 23-24.